The Book of Lost Things

It’s been a long time since I read a book the way I did when I was a kid. You know, when you found a book that really grabbed you and you couldn’t stop reading, and that’s all you wanted to do… That’s what happened to me with The Book of Lost Things, by John Connolly. I love that feeling, and I really liked this book. It was powerful and dark, definitely not a children’s book…full of fairy tales retold with a twist…and with a story about grief and loss, courage, and growing up.

Twelve-year-old David loses his beloved mother to cancer, and then his father remarries and has another son. It’s too much for the still grieving David, and he is filled with anger and jealously. Strange things start to happen to him when they move into the very old home of his new stepmother. He can hear the books in his bedroom talking, for one thing…and there’s a strange, crooked man that watches him. And then one day, while walking near the sunken garden behind the house, he hears his dead mother calling him, and he enters a dark and violent world under the garden, and it is the beginning of a journey of self-discovery, of growth, and of coming to terms with loss.

“Instead, while others aided you along the way, it was your own strength and courage that brought you at last to an understanding of your place in this world and your own. You were a child when first I found you, but now you are becoming a man.”

This is a remarkable and powerful book. The last few pages were so beautifully written they took my breath away. The story lingers and haunts you for awhile.

Many people have read and reviewed this book. After reading Chris’s (Stuff As Dreams Are Made On), Nymeth’s (things mean a lot), and Dewey’s (The Hidden Side of a Leaf) reviews of this book, I knew I had to read it. It was a perfect beginning for the Once Upon a Time Challenge III.

21 thoughts on “The Book of Lost Things

  1. Madeleine

    I been seeing this book on many blogs and the title sounded interesting. Your review has made me want to read it, so I am adding it to books I want to read.
    Again thank-you for visiting my blog and have a nice week-end


  2. Les

    I’ve read so many good reviews for this book (yours included!) and I really need to just go buy a copy so I have it here to add to my TBR stacks. Maybe then I’ll finally get to reading it.


  3. Stephanie

    I actually cried at the end – the book really touched a nerve with me. I read it last year from OUAT II and it turned out to by one of my favorites of 2008!


  4. Robin

    Kathy, it’s good!

    Madeleine, I’d seen it on so many blogs and was caught by the title, too. It’s quite a book, very different than I expected, although I don’t know what I really expected. Powerful and poignant!

    Thanks, Gavin. Definitely worth adding back on to your TBR list!

    Ana O, what a wonderful end, though! 🙂

    Les, it was such an interesting book, and quite a story. The ending was so powerful and beautifully written. It’s worth reading when the time comes.

    Stephanie, I did, too. I’m so glad I read it.

    Tara, enjoy it when the right moment comes. I had it on my list for the right time, too.

    Thanks, Samantha. I’ll look forward to your reactions to the book!


  5. Gentle Reader

    That’s the kind of reading experience I’m having with Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin! I love that. I’ll have to look into The Book of Lost Things, too 🙂


  6. mee

    I just read the Book of Lost Things AND the Uncommon Reader too! Liked both of them alright. Got a couple of books from your Once Upon a Time list.


  7. Robin

    DesLily, it does seem to be making the rounds again. It’s so perfect for the OUaT challenge.

    Thanks, Nymeth. I knew I would like it when I read your review. It just took me awhile to get to it. I’m glad I finally did, though.

    Gentle Reader, I haven’t read The Blind Assassin, so I’ll put it on my mountainous TBR list, and I’ll look forward to reading your review!

    Mee, we seem to like a lot of the same books. I’ll really enjoy reading your reviews!


  8. Ms Ulat Buku

    I’ve had this book on my shelf for a few weeks now but I think after reading your review I might pick it up for the Once Upon a Time III reading challenge. Thanks for the review! 🙂


  9. Iliana

    This is one of those I’ve heard about for so long and just haven’t gotten around to it. It really sounds like a wonderful, magical tale. Glad to hear you enjoyed it so much!


  10. Robin

    Thanks, Ms Ulat Buku. I’ll be very interested in what you think of it when you read it.

    Iliana, it’s a rather dark tale, not magical in that faerie-like way, but it’s a powerful story. I’m glad I finally read it.

    Marineko, it would be perfect for Carl’s RIP challenge! I’d read about it from a lot of different bloggers that liked it, so it was time to read it.

    Shelly, I was a little shy of reading it, too, and put it off for quite awhile. I’m glad I read it, but you should go into it knowing that it’s dark and sinister, and not light and airy.


  11. Rachele

    I checked this out from the library and have been reading it bit by bit during Kai’s naps. Yesterday he slept almost 3 hours in the car while I read with him amidst the birdsong and evergreens on Tabor.

    I loved it also, but was surprised at the end. I’d love to hear your take on the ending. Thank you for the wonderful review of this book that led me to it.



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